In the final part of the Syrian Civil War Chronology, the importance of the 2021 presidential election for the Syrians is put to assessment along with all the major changes that come along with it.
An election in a country is like a splash of water in the face. Sudden and effective to wake someone from a deep slumber. Rejuvenating. Nowadays, Syria is bound to have its latest. Far too long have the darkness of pain and suffering forced this country into a slumber ripe with nightmares, out of which there seems to be no escape. War, famine, poverty and many other factors had chained the country to the earth, preventing its awakening but now, after long last, it appears that Syria is bound to wake up.
There were lots of ups and downs in Syria these past years but in the end, things took a turn for the better eventually. Thanks to the effective cooperation between Russia, Iran and Syria the country for the most part has been reunited under one banner and the opportunity for reconstruction is within grasp. Considering how the Syrian refugees have been treated by the recipient countries, this election presents a golden opportunity to announce to the world and displaced Syrians that the country is safely and soundly in the hands of an elected official voted into office by the people themselves, giving them a shot at homecoming. In addition to that, this election, whether the enemies of Syria like it or not, will legitimize the elected official in the eyes of the world and that means interaction with Syria as an independent entity will become an inevitability.
This year’s competition of course was not without its critics. Out of the 51 applicants only three got past the supreme constitutional court of Syria. As expected, the incumbent president Bashar al-Assad decided to run once again and is considered to be the frontrunner of the race as well. His rivals, Abdullah Salloum Abdullah and Mahmoud Ahmad Marie neither have the political clout nor the charisma required for leadership and their records are nowhere as bulky as expected of a presidential contender. Nevertheless, sometimes the demand for change leads to unexpected outcomes and this election is no different. Having said that, in a traditional society like Syria people tend to favour those they know better and Bashar having participated in the war since its beginning seems like the obvious victor.
Whomever gets elected however, he definitely will have a lot on his platter. Obviously, the economy is on the top of everyone’s agenda. The weight of war, pandemic and sanctions has nearly broken the back of the country’s economy. If the candidates do truly want to embrace the refugee population scattered all across the world, they need a real incentive. Without something to hook the people into coming back, this endeavour is highly unlikely to succeed. Fortunately, with the establishment of a legitimate government, foreign investment in exchange for favours are bound to pour in and what could be better for potential investors than a country which needs to be built from scratch. Still, Syrian caretakers need to be very careful about the prospects of letting in the investors and their ulterior motives.
In spite of all that has happened, Syrians participation so far have exceeded expectations. Syrians living abroad have flocked to their respective embassies en masse while those in the country await their turn eagerly. For better or worse, a candidate will get elected and Syria’s future will change one way or another. In the end however, a ballad remains. A ballad of a destructive civil war that shouldn’t have happened in the first place, of the people that shouldn’t have been evicted and of cities that shouldn’t have been razed. It is however a ballad of courage and patience as well. A ballad of bravery against all odds, endurance against all hardships and the zeal against all discriminations. It is perhaps because of that this election might be the beginning of the end, an end to a long civil war and a beginning to a better tomorrow starting today.